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Technology / AI and automation


South African systems and services giant PQ Holdings, the result of the merger between Persetel Holdings Pty Ltd and Q Data Ltd (CI No 3,227) and now a $2.7bn concern, has unveiled plans to sell off a majority stake in its Africa dealings to a black consortium led by Don Ncube’s Real Africa Holdings. The consortiuim, comprising black companies and trade union investment funds, will take a 51% stake valued at $412.2m. The deal, which is in line with the South African Government’s Black Economic Empowerment initiative, will enable the new company, to be named PQ Africa, to bid for a greater volume of South Africa’s massive public sector contracts. Meanwhile proceeds from the deal and any subsequent increase in revenues will be channeled into PQ Holdings’ ongoing expansion program into European and Latin American markets, a program which has recently seen it acquire a 40% stake in German based Comparex Information Systeme Gmbh, and a 51% stake in Mosaic Software, Tandem Computers Inc’s electronic funds transfer software house with offices in South Africa and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Significantly the deal excludes PQ Holding’s ECNet, its electronic commerce company, and SA Certification Agency, a secure electronics transactions firm, both of which are said to be undergoing intensive investment and development, but PQ Holdings did not rule out the inclusion of these at a later date.

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